Plans to organise more anti-caste marriages in future
Seventy-three couples hailing from a mix of castes and classes, who braved all odds and caste prejudices in particular to enter into inter-caste marriages, converged here on Thursday.
The conference, organised by the All India Democratic Women’s Association to felicitate them, threw light on the changing dynamics of caste and its overarching effects.
To give fillip to the occasion, an anti-caste marriage was conducted at the conference, in which a Scheduled Caste girl from Virudhunagar got married to a boy from an intermediate caste from the same district amid loud applause from the audience.
Speaking on the occasion, Aidwa’s national president, Subashini Ali, said that caste had become the biggest identity marker which resulted in the rejection of women’s rights.
Political mobilisation on the basis of caste reduced the rights of women and was always anti-women in character.
It not only reinforced inequality among the toiling classes but also on gender.
Ms. Ali pointed out that the couples who broke caste barriers were the ones fighting for the creation of a modern India.
She further said that anti-caste marriages not only broke caste barriers but also market hegemony which influenced the people into believing that having big weddings was fad.
She asked the youth to cross the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ of caste and choose their life partners.
She said that being modern was not representative in the form of an outlook in the corporeal sense but in the perception to possess values that supported democracy and equality.
“The period during the national movement and before Independence was more progressive ensuring participation of women in the public sphere than the present.”
“Today we talk about globalisation and India becoming a modern super power but on the other hand, on the social front, issues related to caste and community are curtailing the independence of women. In the land of EVR Periyar and Marxist B. Srinivasa Rao, it is disheartening to see Pattali Makkal Katchi’s S. Ramadoss, who used to speak about social justice, spewing caste venom to keep his slipping vote bank intact.”
D. Ravikumar, general secretary, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, said that when the world was on a progressive path, certain “antisocial” elements were pulling the State backwards.
Mr. Ravikumar felt that the Movement for All Communities, floated by Dr. Ramadoss, was akin to khap panchayats in Northern States.
Aidwa’s national secretary, U. Vasuki, said that they had plans to organise such events in future to promote anti-caste marriages.
T.K. Rengarajan, MP, K. Balabharathi, MLA, Tamil writer Su. Venkatesan, and S.K. Ponnuthai, district secretary, Aidwa, were among the others who spoke.